‘Tis the season to stand in the cold and drink hot wine, hooray. Before you say it, we KNOW it’s only November but we’re already getting a teeny tiny bit excited about all the fabulous festivities London has to offer at this time of the year.
London is an amazing city but something a little magical happens to it at Christmas. From the famous window displays of Liberty’s, Harrods and Fortnum and Masons to the Oxford Street lights the Capital comes alive with festive frivolity from November right up until the New Year when, you can join pretty much the population of the entire city, on the Southbank for what is ALWAYS a magnificent firework display.
Whether you’re from the UK or are here studying as an international student there are many, many ways you can get your Christmas on in London. Why not….
Go full-on-tourist and experience Christmas in London from an open top bus! Save your legs, and the crush of the Christmas shoppers on Oxford street – take it from us it can get pretty crazy out there – and enjoy the fabulous Oxford Street lights, the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square (a gift from the wonderful people of Oslo!) Regents Street and Knightsbridge all from the relative comfort of the top deck of a double decker bus. Many bus tours will actually end in Hyde Park at Winter Wonderland which… if you like your beer by the stein and your sausage by the foot, Winter Wonderland is most definitely the place for you.
Getting bigger EVERY year Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a cacophony of all things Christmas. Open daily from the 20th November to 3rd January 2016, except Christmas day, from 10am to 10pm. Entrance is free but, if you want to do more than just soak up the atmosphere, you will need to buy tickets for all the attractions… Ice Skating, the Circus, Giant Wheel etc etc. Tickets sell out VERY quickly, particularly for the weekends so get them in advance from the website. Central to Winter Wonderland is the cathedral sized beer tent, a spectacular feet of engineering in itself. Get there early to grab a place at one of the huge communal tables. Line up the steins and enjoy some of the campest German bands you’ll ever see. Dancing and terrible singing is encouraged!
If Winter Wonderland sounds all too frantic for you, just a short 20 minute stroll from the Hive, in Vicky Park you’ll find Winterville. Winter Wonderland’s cooler younger brother, the self-proclaimed antithesis of Christmas parks. Although with its ice rink, circus and big wheel its does SOUND rather similar to the others, but who are we to judge… Billed as London’s alternative festive attraction Winterville offers East Londoners a far more high quality, engaging and sometimes down right bizarre Christmas experience from 26th November to the 23rd December – opening times differ depending on the day you can see the full list here. Free entrance, the promise of the ‘best kind of party scene’ AND right on your doorstep it’s worth a quick visit at least.
Venture a little further up the road for a Christmas experience with a difference with Hot Tubs and Cocktails in Hackney Wick. Seriously. London’s only outdoor spa has had a little Christmas sprinkled on it and viola SOAK appears just in time for the festive season. Places are limited so you’ll need to reserve your tub well in advance via their website here.
The Hive provides secure student accommodation in the heart of Bethnal Green. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3551 2550 or book your viewing here.